Nielsen Revs Grow Slightly, Focuses On VOD

Nielsen says potential new media measurement competitors are just offering a small piece of the bigger media picture.

Speaking during an earnings call on Thursday, Dwight Mitchell Barns, CEO of Nielsen, said they are looking at “just a slice of the market. They're measuring a piece of it. And while that's interesting, what the major players need is the complete picture -- the total audience, as we describe it.”

Barns added that some seemingly competitors are merely adding to what Nielsen offers, noting that they are not measuring performance, but providing "additional diagnostic metrics and additional characteristics about the audiences," which he claims are "very complementary to the core of our business."

He says this explains why there is no competitive impact on Nielsen's financial performance.



However, Nielsen N.V. had an uneven financial report, missing its revenue targets somewhat -- which sank its stock a bit early in the day, only to recover when the market closed, down 0.3% to $43.57.

Nielsen revenues grew 1.2% to $1.63 billion -- but were virtually flat when taking out the acquisitions of marketing researcher Harris Interactive and audio-media measurement company Arbitron. Net income rose slightly to $158 million from $145 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Revenues for Nielsen’s Buy business -- its consumer market research and analytics services -- rose 0.6% to $908 million. Nielsen’s Watch business -- its media measurement business, TV ratings, Internet and mobile audience measurement -- fared a bit better, gaining 2.4% to $725 million, with increased business coming from Audience Measurement, Digital, and Marketing Effectiveness business segments.

Barns see the U.S. upfront TV market continuing to evolve from a measurement perspective: “More clients will be thinking about the total audience, both digital and linear TV... and look to monetize across these platforms. We'll have the framework in place for them to do that, with more of the pieces filled in, in that puzzle, of course, by the fall of 2015.”

Going forward, Nielsen looks to focus on more video-on-demand viewing services, says Barns -- both subscription-based (such as Netflix) and ad-supported models. “Capturing these fast-growing slices of over-the-top viewing is a key next step in our effort to provide clients with a complete picture of the total audience in 2015.”

He adds that Nielsen continues to improve with its digital measurement business -- Online Campaign Ratings (OCR). Now 19 out of the top 25 U.S. advertisers endorse OCR.

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